MADRID - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho
called a two-match UEFA ban for improper conduct a medal and not
a punishment on Friday and said he had been singled out for
special treatment by the European governing body.
UEFA banned the Portuguese on Tuesday after allegations that
he had engineered deliberate red cards for two of his players in
a Champions League match.
Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos picked up yellow cards for
time-wasting which resulted in them being sent off at the end of
their 4-0 win away to Ajax last month.
"I see this punishment as a medal," Mourinho told a news
"I'm not going to change. My grandmother died a long time
ago but I remember what she told me as a child. 'If they are
envious of you, you should be happy,' and this has happened to
"I'm pleased there is one rule for Jose Mourinho and one for
the other coaches. It's a historic punishment for me. Following
the line of my old grandmother, it's a medal not a punishment.
"I can't leave the technical area, others can. I can't pick
up a ball an adversary wants, others can. I can't speak with the
fourth official, others can. They are medals so, no worries."
After the Ajax game, Spanish media reported the Real players
had acted on instructions from Mourinho. They said the message
was passed from Mourinho to reserve goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek and
on to first-choice keeper Iker Casillas.
Spanish television showed Dudek talking to Casillas with
hands covering their mouths and then Casillas was shown doing
the same with Ramos.
The sendings-off mean Alonso and Ramos will serve automatic
one-match suspensions in the final group game against Auxerre,
which is a dead match for Real as they are assured of first
place in Group G and qualification for the last 16.
Both players had accumulated two yellow cards in the group
stage before they were sent off and a further yellow card in a
subsequent game would have meant a one-match suspension during
the knockout rounds.
UEFA fined the club, Mourinho and the four players involved.
The second match of Mourinho's European ban has been deferred
for a probationary period of three years.
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